Physical presence was no doubt the first preference and any other type of learning was questionable. Then the internet happened, and the rest is history. E-learning is a rapidly growing industry which has completely revolutionized learning all over the world. It is the practice of improving performance by creating, using and managing various technological resources.
E-learning is an electronic-enabled delivery of instruction, to transfer skills and knowledge that is made available to recipients all across the globe. With the rapid advancements in technology and learning system, e-learning is now accepted and made use of by the masses with their most favorite gadget, mobile phones. Hence, in this article we are going to discuss some tips for developing mobile-friendly e-learning design.
How is e-learning through mobiles encouraging?
Learning has come a long way in recent decades. One does not even need to wait for the PC to power on. Today online learners get all the information they require at a moment’s notice, courtesy of their mobile gadgets. Mobile learning happens anytime, anywhere. People can tap, swipe and scroll their way to the access of knowledge and education. There are no geographical, cultural or social limitations to acquire training and information.
Learning through mobiles is both efficient, as well as effective. Efficiency deals with achieving something with the least possible resources, in the least possible time. While effectiveness is the degree to which objectives are achieved and targeted problems are solved. Hence, mobile learning allows us to gain enormous information in a mere click and provides effective learning material that not only enhances our knowledge, but also clears potential doubts. The generation at present who is constantly engrossed in mobile phones, virtually carry classes in their pockets.
Bring your own device (BYOD) is a new concept that schools in the West are adopting nowadays. The prime reason behind why schools are promoting the use of mobile phones is because the present generation has grown up seeing, hearing and using technology. The various facilities of online learning including all time access to lectures, video instructions and constant professional support have encouraged many schools and colleges to adopt the concept of BYOD.
Developing mobile-friendly e-learning design
Mobile learning or m-learning is a revolution in e-learning. It is an educational system that supports with the help of mobile devices, a continuous access to the learning process. It enables mobility, and teaching and learning to move beyond the spaces of the traditional classroom. But just making sure that learning can be viewed on mobile phones isn’t enough. How do you create truly effective and engaging experiences for the users? Here are 5 tips for developing mobile-friendly e-learning design:
Cut the clutter: There is no room for clutter or extraneous material in mobile learning. Mobile users don’t like the hassle of scrolling and sorting through unnecessary information. Such a cluttered design makes it difficult for the user to navigate the course. Hence, a good e-learning design should have relevant information only and good spacing between elements, to avoid cognitive overload and focus attention. Since users already deal with a multitude of external distractions, the course should be such that relieves them from the chaos and provides only the necessary material.
Concentrate on a single learning objective: Mobile learners are usually pressed for time. Online courses should therefore be focused on only a specific task or topic for a single online lesson. Concentrating on a single learning objective allows the user to focus on the topic, absorb information effectively and avoid cognitive overload. It prevents confusion and provides satisfactory results to the user.
Keep e-learning content bite-sized: Mobile learning is best when it is bite-sized. You don’t want users to scroll forever and ever, because they will lose interest quickly. When dealing with complex subject matter, it must be broken down into short and separate e-learning modules and activities. For example- a 1-hour online tutorial must be broken into 4 micro tutorials, so it does not become monotonous for the user to absorb information at a stretch. Such an e-learning design enhances comprehension and keeps attention focused.
Simplicity outshines stunning graphics: It is important to keep in mind that e-learning on mobile phones deals with limited screen space. There is not as much room for graphics, images and other visual elements as in case of a PC. For instance, an image that might look good on the desktop, may tend to clutter on the mobile screen. Also, every word and sentence in the course should be relevant and serve a purpose. Graphics can be used for aesthetic appeal, or to elaborate the material but only if they do not compromise necessary space and message of the data.
Always test before you deploy: Mobile-friendly e-learning courses require as much testing as traditional e-learning courses. Even if the course is completely ready and you are happy with every aspect of its design, it is always wise to do a test run on different devices. This is important to get an idea of what would the learners experience be like, and a feedback of the design. Issues that might have been overlooked can be solved, when seeing from the eyes of the learner.
Mobile learning makes online learning increasingly convenient and effective. No matter what part of the world, one can have access to information anytime and anywhere. Regardless of budget, time constraints and learning objectives, the above 5 tips to develop mobile-friendly e-learning design can be used to make every individual experience more engaging and memorable.